The Marco Island Planning Board unanimously approved a motion Friday to postpone to Dec. 6 the discussion of an ordinance to regulate temporary signs in the public right-of-way on commercial zoning districts in Marco Island.

The staff-recommended ordinance would allow one temporary sign per property to be placed between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. A similar regulation already exists for residential areas. 

Planning Board member Jason Bailey said the board could inconceivably be allowing  signs in all swales because the ordinance does not limit the size of temporary signs in the right-of-way.

"If this passes, a condo complex could put a 16 square foot sign in their right away (and) a commercial property could put a 24 square foot sign in their right of way," Bailey said. "I don't see anywhere where we restrict the size of that right-of-way sign."

"That's the way we voted a year ago," chairperson Ron Goldstein said. "It is accurate."

Members Joe Rola, Mike Finkle and Bailey said they would prefer that signage would not be allowed in swales. 

"If I had it my way there wouldn't be any signage in the swales," Finkle said.

Goldstein also said the ordinance as written would allow property owners to double the amount of signs they can put in front of their homes.

"You have doubled the signage on someone's yard because now you are allowing it in the right-of-way and on the private property." Goldstein said. "We, specifically a year and a half ago, talked about decreasing signage."

The ordinance was driven by Code Enforcement's inability to remove sign in the right-of-way abutting commercial zoning districts, according to a staff report. It would authorize the city manager to remove all signs that are unlawfully erected.

"The city finds that, in view of the inexpensive nature of these signs and the administrative burden which would be imposed by elaborate procedural prerequisites prior to removal, any procedure other than summary removal of these signs [...] would defeat the purpose of regulating such signs," the ordinance reads.

Other temporary signs may be placed on public rights-of-way contiguous to private property with the private property owner's permission, according to the ordinance. These signs will be allowed for a maximum of 60 says and will have to be removed within seven days after the date of any associated event, election or referendum.  

The property owner will  remain responsible for all code violations associated with the signs removed by the city, according to the ordinance.

Planning Board member Edgar "Ed" Issler was absent from the meeting.

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